Meet the artist: Louise Man
A change of country prompted a change in direction for the very talented Louise Man. This accomplished PR and editor has now added another talent to her sizeable stash; that of a painter. Read on to find out what inspires her.
How long have you been working as an artist?
I’ve always enjoyed painting, but it’s only in the last year that I’ve actually set aside more time to paint and started actively selling some of my work. It’s funny but I still don’t really think of myself as an ‘artist’. I just love to paint and enjoy trying different mediums including watercolours and oils. I created Louise Man Art on Facebook and Instagram as a place to showcase the work I’ve been doing. When I’m not painting, my ‘day job’ is as a freelance travel PR.
Do you teach?
No I don’t teach art yet. I’d love to one day, but I feel that I’ve still got so much to learn myself.
I started painting birds really because we see so many of them in our garden and because I felt like I was rediscovering them again. We moved back to the UK from Sydney two years ago, and after being so used to seeing lorikeets, kookaburras and cockatoos, it was really nice to get reacquainted with all the English garden birds, like robins, blue tits and chaffinches. I also love all their little movements and personalities, which make them fun to paint. My neighbour saw some birds I’d painted in watercolour, and she became the first person to commission me to paint four birds. I do paint other things aswell. I love painting landscapes and flowers and I recently painted my first self-portrait in oil for a competition.
What inspires you?
I get inspired by lots of things, but mainly colours, shapes and light. Sometimes I have a real need to capture something by painting it; like the deep red of the peonies we have in the garden as they come into bloom; or the transparent, paper-like petals of hollyhocks. Other times I have a real urge to paint just simply because I love how it feels – like watching watercolours spread across the paper as they take on a life of their own or the vibrancy of colours and buttery texture you get with oil paints.
Do certain places inspire you?
Being outdoors inspires me. You just have to look around to see so many amazing things to paint. We live in a rural part of Essex, south-east England, where we are surrounded by fields which change throughout the year, from brown, to green to golden. I find these landscapes really inspiring, especially the way sunlight poking through clouds will really light up some fields, while others will be in shade.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve recently started selling my cards wholesale to local shops and cafes and I’m always so excited when they tell me they like them, and that they’d like to stock some. And then when they tell me they’ve actually sold some cards and could they buy some more please, I do an internal fist pump! Just driving by one of the gift shops and seeing my cards through the window makes me smile. So I’m looking at ways to expand my card range by adding more designs – ducks and cockerels are the most recent – and perhaps doing some smaller, framed prints. I’m also looking to do more market stalls, in particular farmers’ markets, and I’m working on a few watercolour commissions.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?
No exhibitions just yet, but if people see something they like on Facebook or Instagram @LouiseManArt they can send me a message and buy from me directly. Otherwise I have a few originals and prints listed on my Etsy UK shop, under LouiseManArt.
Have you come across Louise Man in your travels?